Thanks everyone again, for commenting and waiting, there's only a couple of chapters to go now, and I am so grateful for all of you sticking by it, thank you. Hope you enjoy this, as Ricky, Brax and Denny speak their truths.
"Okay," Kyle started, his calm voice cutting through the tension like a knife, with Brax and Denny staring at Ricky like lost puppies, but Ricky only stared at the wall ahead of her. "There's a lot of things...that has happened, Brax, while you were gone. Ricky needed someone to help her get through it-"
"I understand that," Brax interrupted, his fingers twined together in front of him as if in prayer. "What I don't understand is that how it could have escalated."
"I...I guess that's how things happen," Kyle suggested hopelessly. He had no idea how to approach a conversation like this. And it's not even like he can call a professional here. "I mean...Josh didn't expect things to go as far as they have with his boyfriend and..."
" Wait, wait, hold on!" Brax interrupted, holding up his hand. "Josh is gay now too?"
Kyle blinked at him, then remembered how long he was gone. "Yeah, he came out a while ago. he's with this guy, Brody, in the Morgan family, and they had that whole thing-"
"Oh yeah, I remember finding out about that." Brax may have been on the run, but even he saw the news of the Morgan family's drama of their witness protection, on the run from people that even Brax and Heath wouldn't have done business with! When the news broke out that they're were in Summer Bay, Brax nearly had a heart attack. "When I found out, I wanted to come back here to-"
Ricky scoffed bitterly then. "Of course, the legendary outlaw Brax wants to come home as soon as something exciting and dangerous happens."
"What? No Ricky, I wanted to come home to make sure you were all safe!" Brax argued, despite himself wondering if what Ricky said was actually true.
If Brax was going to be 100% honest with himself, when he was on the run, he felt almost completely at ease, except for the fact that what remained of Pirovic's gang and the police after him. This was the life he knew, the one he always knew since he was young, and not matter how hard he tried to live a normal life with Ricky, even though he was over the moon over having a kid, he didn't feel the same thrill of his previous life.
But of course, with the syndicate hunting for the Morgans, he was worried out of his mind for his family. And anyway he knew that Ricky wouldn't want to hear about the thrill he felt, so he started again. "Ricky-"
"That was your life, Brax," Ricky stated. It was something she always knew, something she tried to lead him away from. "Why wasn't the new life we were trying to start good enough? You just had to do it your own way, to take it upon yourself to get back for Casey. And it cost you us."
"Ricky, I don't know how many times, I had to say this, but I had to do it for Casey!" Brax almost shouted, unwilling to back down at all. He turned to his brother for appeal, hoping that Kyle would understand. "Kyle surely you can see how ridiculous she's-"
"I don't Brax," Kyle muttered, head down.
Brax nearly jumped, his mouth dropped. He couldn't believe this. Why wasn't anyone on his side? "Kyle-"
"No Brax, I understand what you were feeling, but I can't support any of it." Kyle had enough of it. He needed his brother to see where he had gone wrong. For Kyle can see how much this was hurting Ricky inside, so he had to take a stand. "Brax, when I...when I kidnapped Casey, all those years ago," Kyle started, (still feeling shame over it all), "I wasn't thinking straight. All I could think of was getting back for our dad. And where did it get me? It nearly led me to prison and almost losing the last chance I have for a family. I get that you were angry... But you should have known better than to just run off and leave your family like that. Ricky needed you. Your son needed you. I needed you. And you weren't here."
Brax at first was shocked and dismayed, but now felt only more guilt. He was now realising the affect his actions had on his family, realisations he hadn't thought about before. Attempting to move beyond that, he then turned to Denny. "But what about you? I thought you were in love with Casey? And you-"
Denny stood up then, previously looking lost and afraid, but now looked like she was ready to slap Brax all over again. "First of all, I did love Casey. I still love him and I'll always remember him as the kind, sweet man he was. But that doesn't mean that I should just live my entire life alone and not feeling love for anyone else. And neither should Ricky. She has spent so much time lost and unsure about whether she should have what she wants, whether she should be happy. And she has chosen to be happy with me. The moment I fell in love with her, I swore to myself that I will never do wrong by her. That I would always stand by her, by her decisions, and to never leave for some selfish mission of my own" Then turning to look down on Ricky, who, despite keeping her cold glare, seemed to be softening a bit, "I hope that she'll still believe that."
At that, tears began to glisten in her eyes, Denny quickly walked to the back door into the garden. There was an awkward moment silence between the other three, Ricky softening more at her girlfriend's words. She was still annoyed at Denny's previous words during her argument with Brax, making it sound like she didn't consider Ricky's feelings, but after hearing the raw emotion in eh r voice, maybe she actually did care. But then again, she thought things were like that with Brax, so she needed to be careful. She stood up and followed Denny, ignoring the looks that Kyle and Brax were giving her. Brax looked over then to Kyle, uncertain now how to talk with him. He couldn't bare to lose another brother. "Kyle," he said reluctantly. "I get you don't support my decisions ...but can't you see that it was for our family? I always wanted what's best for our family."
Kyle sighed, and rubbed the back of his head. "Brax, I know that you love this family, you would risk your life over and over again to keep it safe, but your actions weren't what's best for your family. You should have stayed, but there's no changing that now.I love you, but you being here isn't helping Ricky either. She's finally happy after a long time, you need to let her keep it."
Brax was heartbroken, but now he was beginning to really understood what Ricky needed, and what she needed wasn't his. "I love her," was all he could say, knowing how little he could do with it.
"Then you know what to do." Kyle replied sadly.
Ricky stepped out to the garden, softly approaching the other blonde girl, who was standing near the wall, looking up at the sky. "Those things you said back there," Ricky murmured softly, causing Denny it turn to her. "Those things...is that what you really want? To stand by me always?"
Denny nodded. "I've been in a lot of relationships. The only thing that really made me feel something real was Casey. When he...when he died, I was sure that I would never feel like that again. Until that night at Angelos, our first kiss. It was then that I knew I would enjoy the rest of my life with only you."
The two women stared at each other then, both women prompting the other to say something. Then Denny turned away, muttering "But I guess that doesn't matter now,"
Ricky sighed. 'I've felt those same things with you too. But back there, when you were arguing with Brax...it was as if I couldn't tell the difference between either side. That both of you were fighting over who would get me without me having a say in any of it-"
"I know, I know," Denny loudly interrupted, turning back to her, Ricky alarmed to notice tears pouring down Denny's cheeks. "I know that I should have considered your thoughts, but...the moment I walked into the house, and saw Brax, I...I just...you and Brax, you were always meant to be together. That's what everyone thought when they saw the two of you. And when I walked I. On the two of you, that fact came smashing into my mind. And I thought, for a frightening moment, that you would have chosen him. That's why I panicked, and went straight into the argument without thinking of you. Because I was afraid, you would have chosen Brax. Even when he doesn't in the slightest deserves you. You'll always choose Brax." She stopped then, tears freely running from her eyes, but refusing to openly cry.
Ricky fled all her anger disappear at what her girlfriend said and was left with understanding and sadness. Denny's actions made sense here. She was scared of losing her to someone else, not because of her own feelings, but because she wanted Ricky to be happy. And she was right, Ricky had always chosen the life with Brax before. Despite all the dangers, all the drama, she had chosen Brax because she believed that was what she wanted. Not this time, though. "Not this time," she read her thoughts out loud. Denny turned to her, eyes widening slightly.
"I won't chose Brax this time, and not again," Ricky told her, walking over to her and wiping the tears off her face. "I choose you," she said, looking up to her eyes and kissing Denny on the nose. "Only you," kissing her cheek. "Because I love you." And a soft, but strong kiss on the lips.
Denny gave a watery smile, cupping Ricky's cheek. "I love you too, and I swear, I will always put you first."
Neither had any idea how long they stood out there for, not saying anything, just taking comfort in the love they share, before heading back into the house. They peaked through and saw Kyle and Brax having a close talk, both looking rather sad, but much calmer. "What do you think they're talking about?" Denny turned to Ricky, who shook her head. "I don't know, but it's best if we let them talk."
They waited out there, again without the need to talk, though finding other things to do without eavesdropping what the brothers were saying. Ten minutes later, both women went back in to see Brax and Kyle engulfing each other in a hug.
After a long time, Brax broke away and placed his hand on Kyle's shoulder. "Thank you Brax," Kyle stammered, a watery smile on his face. "For everything."
Brax returned the smile, sad, but still a smile, and then walked over to Ricky and Denny. He looked down on her, her beautiful face and wondered how stupid could he have been to throw it all away.
"I'm sorry Ric," and for the first time, he could feel tears gathering in his eyes. "I'm so sorry. I should have stayed, I know that now. I was mad, about Pirovic and Casey, but I should have stayed. But I...I know it's too late now. You've moved on. And now I have to do the same, I just want you to know... That I love you. But I promise, you won't have to worry about me again. Ricky...I'm just so sorry."
Ricky nodded at him, sadness etched on her face, but acceptance was there as well. She placed her hand on his shoulder,mouth that was pretty much it. At least three years of loving each other, and that was it. He then turned to Denny and simply said, "Take care of her yeah?"
Denny nodded, some of the coldness evaporating for her face as well. Brax nodded back and then Kyle, who went out, came back in with Casey. Swallowing hard, Brax went to his son, the son he was looking so much to see, the one he left before he was even born. He picked Casey up, and was instantly reminded of the time he spent with his brother when he was a baby, so much that tears were now falling. Brax gently rocked the sleeping baby. "Hey kiddo," he murmured softly. "I'm so sorry I missed you growing up and will still do so. I love you so much, and I know...I know that you're going to be a good man."
That was all he felt able to say without breaking down. He kissed the baby's cheek, placed him on the couch, and then, with one last look at his family, the people he should have been there for, he went out to the back garden and leaped over the fence. He took a deep breath, wishing so much to change things. But it was too late. He made his bed, and now he had to sleep in it. He knew his family would be alright now, but it still didn't help that it wasn't without him.
And with that, Brax stepped onto the empty road, and left the Bay, and his family.
Very emotional stuff there, eh? Sorry again for taking so long and I hope you enjoy it. The last chapter will be coming around Christmas time.